Blockchainized Ukraine, Expanding Bitcoin, and Innovations Embraced. Cryptospace News for March 19-26


This week’s overview features further increase of bitcoin price, its continuing involvement in routine life, Ukraine’s blockchainization, and development of cryptocurrency projects.

Bitcoin Price

This week, Bitcoin consolidated its price having reached $415 at the moment of writing, compared to $405 last Saturday. It peaked on Wednesday at $418. Generally, the week has been calm and peaceful for Bitcoin.

Bitcoin trading volume has comprised 32.6 million BTC, with most transactions effected at Chinese exchanges OKCoin (50.31%) and Huobi (46.9%).

In a few months’ time, Bitcoin will experience the second ‘halving’, which means that mining reward would fall by half.

“The steady bitcoin price shows strong faith in bitcoin’s underlying halving mechanism, this will be the network’s second major halving event,” Joseph Lee, founder of Mangr, told CoinDesk.

“Because the event is predictable and the dates known, it is likely that the price has already factored in the new changes,” he added.


Bitcoin Everywhere

Meanwhile, Bitcoin continues its expansion in everyday life. This week has brought us several interesting tidings, mostly from Europe.

Thus, Munich in Germany may become the world’s first city to formally embrace bitcoin as official settlement method. At least, that is what a local municipal representative has proposed.

German magazine t3n has announced it became the country’s first employer to pay wages in Bitcoin, at least it part. Starting November 2015, 35 employees of the publication have been receiving steady bitcoin equivalent of 20 Euro.

Meanwhile in France, local startup Bitit does its best to popularize Bitcoin. The company intends to facilitate buying of digital currency for cash in retailing stores. Having partnered with prepaid cards provider Neosurf, Bitit has made its cards available at more than 100,000 stores in France and other European countries.

Blockchainization of Ukraine

This week has been seminal for further development and implementation of blockchain technology in different aspects of Ukraine’s life.

It kicked off with last Sunday’s Blockchain Conference Kyiv, an event seeking to support the global trend of supporting services that employ distributed ledgers, and to reinforce Ukraine’s capacity of a pioneering country in blockchain implementation for public management.

Speaking at the conference, director of IT department at Ukraine’s Government Secretariat Yegor Stefanovych presented platform E-Ukraine, and urged developers to find a use-case for blockchain for e-gov solutions. E-Ukraine would feature electronic government services for citizens, project exchange for startups, and an option for creating initiatives.

Other key events at the conference are highlighted in a summary report, and include:

  • Report “Digital Middle Ages” by advisor of Ukrainian President’s Administration David Kiziria
  • Report on E-Vox, electronic voting system on Ethereum blockchain, by Oleksii Konashevych, spokesperson for the Reanimation Package of Reforms
  • Presentation of eAuction 3.0, a final version of a platform for state property privatization auction, by Lasha Antadze.

Also speaking at the conference was Mikhail Shmelyov, director for technological policy at Microsoft Ukraine. He reported on changes in software use and blockchain’s place in consumer economy. Forklog will publish a story based on his speech next week.

The week climaxed with signing of memorandum on launch of e-Auction 3.0, which implies development and implementation of decentralized online auctions in government entities of local and regional levels.

Signing the memorandum were, among others, Odessa governor Mikheil Saakashvili, founder of IDF Reforms Lab Georgy Vashadze, and several parliament members.

ForkLog Exclusives

Legal firm Axon Partners from Ukraine, engaged in IT industry, has established its charter capital in bitcoins. The precedent is truly interesting and possibly useful for other entrepreneurs.

We talked with co-founder and CTO Stephan Tual. The Germany-based startup has recently joined Microsoft Azure and prepares to launch its own DAO. In the interview, Tual spoke about the project’s further plans.

Finally, we kept in touch with Bulgarian bitcoin enthusiast Vladislav Dramaliev, who told us about his charity project, and other projects like and

Charity issues have been further covered in our special feature discussing several interesting instances of raising cryptocurrency for charitable efforts, and why social activity may become beneficial for bitcoin’s image.

Blockchain and the World

This week signified opening of Ripple’s European office; $1 million raised by smart contracts platform Rootstock; and expansion of Microsoft Azure partners’ list with smart contracts platform Expanse, altcoins Monero and Radium, and platform for blockchain app development Tendermint.

A fintech business accelerator for blockchain-based solutions is to be opened in Switzerland with support from UBS and Credit Suisse, two renowned banking giants. The project also features Swisscom, the country’s leading ICT provider, and international consulting company Ernst & Young.

More news come from Toronto, where exhibition Blockchain World Expo is to be held this September. The exhibition is set to become the world’s biggest event for the industry. It will feature latest developments and achievements in blockchain technology.


Monero developer Riccardo Spagni raised an interesting question having claimed that most altcoins in the world are downright fraudulent. He believes that the only goal for their existence is to make their creators rich.

Whether he’s right or not, there is some point to this opinion. Cryptocurrency industry is thriving, and it’s quite probable that among the myriads of altcoins there could be some props. There are known examples thereto.

However, some altcoins are quite useful for certain purposes. Thus, the honorable company of such options is now complete with phone account refilling service BitRefill. While earlier the platform offered bitcoin-only services, now that it had partnered with, it added an altcoin option. The service is truly convenient, as I have personally tested it: my Litecoin wallet held some amount of coins I couldn’t find any use, and now I managed to set them a-going.

Another instance of a successful altcoin is Dash. I recommend everyone to read a feature by #TheFuzzStone covering the cryptocurrency’s ecosystem following last year’s rebranding.

Additionally, an interesting project is being born right before our eyes. Cryptoplatform Lisk, which had closed its ICO this week, raised nearly $6 million. It is a very serious amount for such a project, so its further development will certainly be of some interest.

Ethereum Roadmap

Finally, Vitalik Buterin personally presented Ethereum a roadmap for the project at Conbase’s headquarters in San Francisco. While, contrary to some expectations, he didn’t announce ETH integration in Coinbase services, he still presented a detailed vision of the project. The very fact that the presentation took place at premises of a major bitcoin company, could suggest that there might be something interesting a little way down the road.

by Andrew Asmakov

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